Registration as a political party brings significant benefits. Registered political parties can issue income tax receipts, be identified on ballot papers, and incur election expenses.

Granting registered political parties the ability to issue income tax receipts for political contributions serves two important public policy functions: it recognizes the important role that political parties play in our democratic process and it encourages participation in the political process.

As the ability to issue income tax receipts for contributions is a significant benefit that is supported by taxpayers, Elections BC must ensure that applicant organizations are “political parties” as defined by the Election Act.

Registration Requirements

For the purposes of the Election Act, a political party is defined as “an organization that has as a primary purpose the fielding of candidates for election to the Legislative Assembly.”

The Chief Electoral Officer reviews each registration application to determine if the political party meets the registration requirements. Part of the application includes a signed statement that the organization is a political party – that is, an organization that has a primary purpose of fielding candidates.

Evidence of the primary purpose is also required and may include:

  • a published platform, political theme or message, or party constitution that indicates the organization’s commitment to field candidates in future provincial elections, or
  • if the organization is affiliated with a federal political party that is registered under the Canada Elections Act, a letter of endorsement from the registered federal party, indicating that the provincial party is being established to field candidates in provincial elections.

How to Register

To register as a political party in B.C., an organization must submit a registration package. For details, see our Political Party Guide to Registration and the Political Party Registration forms on our Forms page.

Note that a party cannot register under a name that may be confused with a political party that is currently registered, a party that was registered or appeared on a ballot in the past 10 years, or one that has pending application for registration with Elections BC.